Black History Month in the Classroom

It is so important to read culturally diverse literature all year long.  It is equally important to learn about important historical figures from many cultures all throughout the year.  We definitely don't want to limit our study of famous African Americans to one month in the spring semester.  However, we do like to take the month of February to dig a little deeper and really focus on Historical Heroes that helped change and mold our country.  Let's take a look at what this may look like in the 2nd grade classroom!

In Rooted in Reading February we have a nonfiction reader that highlights four historical heroes.  Students can use the reader to learn about George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson, Oprah Winfrey, and Thurgood Marshall.  After reading students can also use the QR codes to research information about each person.
I haven't taught Social Studies in over 7 years!!  BUT that doesn't mean we can't integrate holidays and researching with other subjects.  Here students can recall important facts and write down information about each person.
As a class we can also use this chart to discuss each person. 
The chart pieces have been added to Rooted in Reading February.

Reading about Ruby Bridges is always a class favorite because they can make real-life connections to a child that is around their age.  This helps students see that no matter how young you are you can be the change and make a difference.
After reading about Ruby Bridges, the students wrote about her life and the difference she made.
We also take the time to recognize that our differences make us beautiful.  The Crayon Box that Talked is a great book to read about celebrating our differences and how we all come together to make a beautiful world!
These activities come from my Black History Month unit.

Salt in His Shoes is another great read aloud that we used for Rooted in Reading April.  This story about Michael Jordan also highlights the importance of perseverance, practice, and patience!
And of course we always always always take the time to read and learn about MLK!  
You can read THIS post to see how I tied in our learning of MLK with biographies.
I also teamed up with TpT and Vera to talk about some of the activities from this post.  Check that out below:

Fun with Fractions

Do you know what I love?  I love when it's time to go from the headache of regrouping to other math concepts, ha!  Now, don't get me wrong, over the years I have come to really enjoy finding new ways to teach regrouping so that students understand it BUT sometimes it just makes you want to pull your hair out!  Can I get an AMEN?!  When fractions, measurement, and graphs come around I really feel like second graders are in the home stretch!  Let's take a look at some fun, interactive, and engaging fraction activities for 2nd graders.

A lot of what we are doing in 2nd grade is really helping students to grasp the idea of parts of a whole.  We want them to see the different sizes of parts and be able to identify how many parts it takes to equal a whole.  This little apple booklet is a great visual for kiddos.
 One of my favorite things about fractions is there are so many fun ways to create fraction models.  You can make pizzas, ice cream sundaes, gumball machines, and so much more!

For these fraction rainbows students ordered fractions from one-fourth to one and two fourths.  This also enhanced their understanding of going beyond the whole.

Now the BEST thing is that you can incorporate all kinds of hands-on activities and FOOD!  Play-dough is the perfect way to get students working with their hands to model fractions.
Anyone hungry?  Even if we can't bring actual pizza into the classroom we can still have fun with pretend pizzas :)
 If you're mouth isn't watering yet...
 These frosted cookies are everywhere AND they are super soft so it makes for easy cutting.  If your students can't eat them in school just bag 'em up to take home!
Taking it a step further, have students demonstrate what they did with their cookie by making a model with a description.
 It's yummy and cute!
Want even more ideas and fun ways to teach fractions?  We've created a Sample day for both 2nd and 3rd Grades with free printables!  In it you will find fraction ice cream cones, a whole group game, word problem, and interactive notebook entry :)
Know any 3rd grade teachers?!  We've got them covered with four weeks of fraction lesson plans.  Dare them to take the plunge and learn with food, games, and interactive lessons!

I've shared lots of fraction posts in the past.  Check those out HERE!  You'll even find a few freebies along the way :)

Student-Made Cards

Do your students love making cards as much as the kids I know?!  Most jump at the chance to make a friend, family member, or teacher a homemade card.  They love adding their own little flair to make it extra special :)  It's also a great addition to a writing center or early finishers tub!  You can grab this birthday card freebie HERE.  I've also included a Valentine's Day card that can be used this month.
 To give students a starting point you can also add a little directed drawing to the front cover.  It gives a confidence boost and gets students going in the right direction :)

Measurement Activities {And a NEW Freebie!}

Measurement is one of my most favorite math concepts to teach.  Put a ruler in the hands of a student and they are as happy as a peach!  When Hope and I were putting together our 2nd Grade math unit on measurement we really wanted to make sure to pull together activities that were hands-on and engaging.  We also wanted to incorporate several skills in such as estimating, comparing, adding & subtracting, and more!  Here's a little look at our favorite activities from Magic of Math Unit 6:
Students will create a robot then estimate and measure using inches.

Students create a City-Scape and estimate/measure the height of each building.  Afterwards students compare the heights of different buildings.
Students will also use a ruler to measure the lengths of different lines.
During Spin, Move, and Measure students decide which unit of measurement would be best to measure in.  Students also measure several of the objects that can be found around the classroom.

Using small cars, our friends will host a Meter Derby to measure the length their cars travel using meters.
Students also take a peek at Wacky Line Ups!  These pictures will give students a chance to measure objects that aren't lined up perfectly on a ruler.
Building Lego Towers will give our friends an opportunity to estimate and measure using centimeters.
We will also work on comparing lengths in centimeters with a little Twizzler Station activity!
Students are always trying to sneak a little paper airplane making into their day, so why not give them the opportunity to do so?!  Paper airplanes will take flight and students will have a blast estimating and measuring!
 One of our other skills to master is measuring the area of a rectangle.  This also includes partitioning rectangles into equal parts.

Students create their very own dream room and measure the area of each object that they include!
Want an excuse to break out the chocolate?!  Using a Hershey's bar, students will partition rectangles and find the area of each new shape using their candy bar :)

 We provide many opportunities for students to practice covering a shape appropriately to find the area of different sized rectangles.
 We just couldn't leave out the cuteness!  Students create a dinosaur and estimate/measure the area of each part.
 Your little learners will become Area Royalty after they create their very own Area Crowns!
Let's just face it, word problems can be such a bore, but goodness they are important!  We did try to take the pain out of it with different ways to attack those tricky things!

You can find all of the activities shown above HERE... plus there are SOOOO many more that we didn't even show :)
As a little added bonus, I put together this Measurement Review that can be used after your students have learned how to measure length.  This can be displayed on the projector or used as a Scoot activity!  Find this freebie HERE!
Click HERE for a little Area FREEBIE
Need one more measurement activity to add to your teacher tool chest?  Click HERE to read all about a student-favorite... The Measurement Olympics!